Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Meeting the Oceans

Something I've been working on for a while...

Meeting the Oceans

The first ocean I met was the Atlantic.

Off of Cape Cod

the water was cold

the sharp salty smell strong on the cool breeze.

It sent seaweed onto my beach,

a row of crunchy, dark green,

barring my path to the smooth pale sand at its edge.

We ate lobster and steamers,

and we enjoyed

the Cape Cod Atlantic's company

in the soft June sunshine.

The second ocean I met was the Pacific.

Off Oahu

the water was warm

the smell of the ocean competing

with the steamy, sultry tropical breeze.

It sent tiny animals into dark crevices,

daring me to discover the living creatures

tucked into tide pools in the dark lava rock.

We ate pineapples and papayas and lychees,

and the Hawaiian Pacific

was an excellent host that tropical December.

The third ocean I met was the Atlantic.

Off Delaware

the water was cooling

as we swam in the waves,

ignoring the ocean smell in the allure of the boardwalk.

We rinsed off the noise and bustle of the city,

being carried on the surf,

an afternoon's respite

from the rush-rush bus tour.

We ate cotton candy and taffy and pizza,

and the Delaware Atlantic

was a delightful playmate that late July.

The fourth ocean I met was the Pacific.

Off the Lost Coast

the water was tempting but unreachable

across the stretch of black basalt sand.

It smelled lightly of salt in the gusty wind

as I watched it with my crutches at my side.

It sang background music

to the family reunion,

and we were warned of its tidal strength

in case of an offshore earthquake.

We ate conversation and memories,

and the Lost Coast Pacific

presented a charming backdrop that California June.

[don't worry - the crutches were temporary and long-gone now.]


gautami tripathy said...

That really flowed like the oceans. Each one is an individual in its own right.

Though I came here via Michele but your writing no stranger to me.

Keep writing..!!

Bob-kat said...

Lovely verse :)

I lived very close to the sea for many years adn I miss it. I find something about it very relaxing.

Michele pointed me this way today :)

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Michele sent me today! Lovely poem!

"It sang background music
to the family reunion"

Yes! The ocean is music and something you never lose awareness of. Too true!

Stephanie Davies said...

Congrats on being chosen as Michele's Site of the Day! your blog is so elegant and beautiful!! :)

I loved the beautiful prose!! I've only seen the ocean once in my life and that was when I was about 5 :( I hope I get to see the ocean again before I die. Your words certainly were vivid and detailed!!

kenju said...

A beautiful homage to our wonderful oceans. You brought back memories of my favorite times, especially in Hawaii. Congrats on being the site of the day (Michele sent me).

McIrish Annie said...

You brought me back to the Cape where I have not been since childhood! Thank you . btw michelle sent me

Linda said...

If only I could live by the ocean forever! I've met the Atlantic in many places; the first was in Maine, then in Connecticut, New Jersey, Bermuda, Florida, Virginia, the Carolinas (both)...but the best meeting had to be off the coast of Normandy (well, technically not quite the Atlantic...but close enough). I have yet to meet the Pacific...but I've met the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, too.

Michele sent me

sister AE said...

Gautami - Thanks. You know you are welcome any time. I must say one of these days you will finally inspire me to write a sonnet, but iambic pentameter doesn't come naturally to me.

Bob-kat - Hi, there. and thanks. I stared out life in the midwest - far-far from oceans, except for these occasional visits. I now live closer, but a beach day is still special.

Susan - Thank you. I'm glad it speaks to you too.

Stephanie - I'm glad you came to visit. And you must find a way to see an ocean again. They are so much bigger than us - so special.

Kenju - Welcome and thank you. I was only 10 when we visited Hawaii, but the trip gave me some very vivid memories.

McIrish Annie - I'm glad you enjoyed the trip. Thanks for the note.

Linda - I, too, have had other ocean meetings, but these seemed to sing the loudest to be put in this poem. The Pacific is different from the Atlantic, though. I hope you get a chance to experience it yourself.

Bev Sykes said...

Hello. Michele sent me.

She must have known how much I love the ocean and sent me to meet a contemporary. Now I need a seaweed fix!

sister AE said...

Hello, Bev - I'm glad you visited today.

Maria said...

Lovely poem.

Living in Nebraska makes me long for a nearby beach on some days. The prairie grass can LOOK like an ocean, but ah...nothing like the real thing.

sister AE said...

Hi, Maria - I think that, as much as anything else, it is the smell. The salt-in-the air smell (different for different areas and different for different oceans) that gets to you first and from a long way away. After that is the sound, and when the seas are high you can feel the thump of some of the largest waves (if you are close enough).

The wildness is only matched by those violent summer storms on the prairie that you smell coming, when the sky turns yellow and green, and then when the wind whips everything until the very house hums. Yes?

leonie said...

i miss the ocean. thanks for taking me back there.

sister AE said...

hi, leonie - come back anytime for a "fix."